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mcconnell. senator reid says there is no time to reach a deal. mr. mcconnell says he is more optimistic. then from the republican controlled house of representatives, the top republican john boehner has rejected president obama's previous offers and the morse -- most senior democrat in the house, nancy pelosi. what is the cliff and can be avoided? >> the house of representatives will be going back into session sunday but at this point we do not know what kind of measure they have before them that they can consider for a vote. there has been no indication from the white house or the republican leadership that they are anywhere near any kind of makings of a deal that they could present to the house republican leadership -- or the house republican rank-and-file who so far have been adamantly opposed to tax increases at any level of income, which is an absolute prerequisite for president obama. if they do not come to some kind of agreement, but that tax to be voted on -- and there is doubt that it is logistically possible before new year's day -- then the most immediate impact would be the
. it is up to the senate to do something. you have senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, the republican saying it is up to the democrats to do something. we'll not do anything until president obama and the democrats come up with a plan and president obama actually late yesterday did call all four leaders, majority, minority leaders in the house and senate that includes mitch mcconnell and said the first time a democrat called him since thanksgiving to talk about this. so they're talking but there is no indication anybody is actually doing anything right now. gregg: what about harry reid? what's his, does he have anything at all maybe towards the end of the week he will put on the table? i've been hearing he will put to a vote an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody making under $250,000 a year, extend unemployment benefits for some 2 million people that are about to lose them. what are you hearing? >> right. he sounded pretty pessimistic this morning but that could change and there's, kind of a fight, procedurally between the house and the senate in a sense that if reid originates
whether mitch mcconnell wants to play a role because he has a campaign coming in 2014. for some people on the far right, the idea that mitch mcconnell would make a deal with obama could be acceptable. you have 10 or more republican senators who say they are willing to do business with president obama in terms of approving an increase in the marginal tax rates. if that is the case, if you could get them to pass some kind of bill and then send it on to the house, and all boehner said was i will allow a vote, and you have democrats and some republicans feeling pressure joining in, you could get a bill done. host: rick is from massachusetts on our independent line. caller: good morning. i have a problem with the president. he is the most divisive individual who has come to power in this country for a long time. he completely denied his white relatives and blames all the problems on white men by buying the votes of the lower earners in this country by saying it is not your fault. he promised to bring this country to gather. what happened? guest: i am surprised. upper income people voted for
, mitch mcconnell have made it clear, you want $1 trillion of more debt ceiling, because that's what the president is running, $1 trillion more debts, you have to cut it at the same time. they won it a year ago. they'll win it in the future. this is a long fight. it's four years of a fight. it's not one week of a fight. to your earlier question, does the president want to take us over the cliff? i think now he does. the reason is he needs an excuse for the next four years of failure. blaming it on bush doesn't work very much. the regulations and spending he's put on the economy for the next four years is going to put us in recession regardless of the fiscal cliff. >> to be fair, i'm told there are a number of republicans, especially in the house, who want to go over the cliff for the reason i explained, that they'd much rather vote for a tax cut than a tax increase because they don't want to break your pledge. grover, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> no one should break their pledge. >> merry christmas. thank you, grover. >> merry christmas to you. >> ahead on "starting point,"
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